Message from AUMA President Barry Morishita
It’s coming up on six months since recreational cannabis became legal, and municipalities are still waiting for a commitment from the Province to share this tax revenue with municipalities.
Provincial regulations limit municipalities’ abilities to collect property taxes from cannabis production facilities. This means other taxpayers are subsidizing the costs of services used by these industrial-scale operations. So, most municipalities have absolutely no access to revenues generated from cannabis being grown, sold, and used in their communities.
Does this sound fair to you?
For the months leading up to legalization, AUMA was actively involved in meetings with the provincial and federal governments to ensure there was understanding of the impacts of legalization on our communities. At one point, AUMA put its support behind the provincial government in its bid to get a larger share of cannabis revenue from the federal government. That bid was successful, and the federal government agreed to give provinces 75% of cannabis revenue with the clear understanding that it was to be shared with municipalities.
Despite AUMA actively and aggressively advocating for municipalities to share in that 75%, the most we received from the Alberta Government was the Municipal Cannabis Transition Program (MCTP), a grant program only available to municipalities with a population over 5,000 and responsible for their own policing costs. AUMA did not hold back announcing our disappointment with this program.
When you’re speaking to the provincial candidates this week let them know that Alberta communities are stronger with a commitment from government for a fair share of cannabis revenue.
Watch for next week’s discussion on improved resources for policing. In the meantime, visit auma.ca for more information on the three key municipal issues and AUMA’s campaign for Strong Communities Build Alberta.